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Yet another no start/fuel pump question

Discussion in '2001-2005 Explorer Sport Trac' started by 429CJ-3X2, December 30, 2017.

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    1. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      I drove my '01 ST last Saturday. Only went a short distance, but started it 2 or 3 times. It started and ran as usual with no problems. I tried to start it Christmas Day, and it cranked just fine but wouldn't start, and I haven't been able to start it since. Fortunately, it's at home. Unfortunately, my wife would have preferred to drive it instead of her Escort in the snow yesterday and today. What are the chances the fuel pump (probably original with 170,000+ miles) quit without warning? What else should I check? Whatever the problem is, it's not getting fixed this week with temps well below zero.
       
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    3. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      Could be the fuel pump at that mileage. All of mine crapped out between 170-200K (all in the cold). Can you hear the pump run in the first 2 seconds of key ON? Check the FP relay and inertia switch.

      Spray some starting fluid in the TB and see if it kicks for a few seconds. If it does, the fuel pump isn't working. If it still does nothing check the crank sensor because you may not have spark.

      My favorite (safest) way to check for spark is to remove a spark plug wire from the engine (any plug wire) install the plug wire an old plug and clamp the old spark plug in my battery jumper cable with the other end on the neg side of the battery, then spin the engine and see if you're getting a nice strong spark.
       
      Last edited: December 30, 2017
    4. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      I've never heard of that method of checking for spark. I'll give it try once it warms up. It's 0 degrees out right now and the temps are only going down for the next few days.

      I don't know that I've ever been able to hear the fuel pump when I turn the key on. I'll have to get someone to turn the key while I listen for it, as well as helping with the other checks. I'm hoping it's not the pump, obviously, but especially since it's winter. A fuel pump isn't getting changed for awhile. Too bad they're not as easy to change as the one in the Escort where you just yank the back seat cushion out, remove a cover, and have access to the pump. Quick, simple and easy, just the way I like things.
       
    5. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      I find checking for spark this way is great if you're working alone (which I typically am). It was really easy on our '97 Sport, because they still had a starter solenoid on the driver's side fender right next to the battery. All I had to do there was to touch a socket on the solenoid to jump it (with the key ON) and could see if there was a spark. In my case I was not. Turned out to be the flaky wiring to the crank sensor, Gave it a wiggle and it started right up.

      Changing the fuel pump on My '01 ST wasn't much fun either. Not because it was cold outside, but because it was 100 F in my garage. It's never a fun job, though I've learned some time saving tips over the years.

      I'd start with spraying the starting fluid as it's the easiest thing to do. A 2-3 second squirt into the TB should be enough.
       
    6. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      When I did the bed swap last summer I looked at the fuel pump location to see if it's possible to change it with the bed off, but it looks as though there's a crossmember in the way. Bummer. Since the bed was off last summer, removing it would probably be easier than dropping the tank.
       
    7. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      There are only 3 bolts that hold the tank up. 2 at the front and one that holds the strap in place. I drain the tank as much as possible (down to about 2 gals). On the ST I was not able to get a siphon hose down the filler neck, so I pulled the hoses off the tank bung and stuck my siphon hose directly in the tank.

      Next I removed the 2 18mm (17mm?) bolts from the front of the tank and replaced the bolts with loose fitting tie-wraps. This allows the rear of the tank to be lowered (with the tie-wraps acting like a hinge) once the tank strap bolt is removed. Lower the tank slowly using a floor jack with a piece of wood on top of it.

      As the tank is lowered, disconnect the wires and evap hose from the top of the tank.

      Once the rear of the tank can be lowered to the ground, vacuum/blow off or hose off the top of the tank to remove dirt that might fall into the tank, remove the small bolts that hold the fuel pump assembly in the tank.

      The fuel pump assembly can be removed from the tank without removing the fuel line and slung over the leaf spring to work on it. I always purchase Bosch fuel pumps because they're reliable and come with everything needed to replace the pump (including enough submersible fuel line to replace the pump to regulator and regulator to fuel pipe hoses). I believe Bosch PN 69128 is what I bought for my ST. The only other things I had to purchase was a new strainer sock and fuel filter.

      After reinstalling the FP assembly, raise the tank and reconnect everything in reverse order. My time start to finish is about 90 mins and I don't work quickly.

      If you go with the Bosch kit you'll find there's a bunch of stuff that it comes with that you will not need (O-rings mostly).

      Link:
      NEW Bosch Electric Fuel Pump 69128 Ford F-150 E-150 Contour Explorer 1988-2004 | eBay
       
      Last edited: December 30, 2017
    8. gtyates

      gtyates Active Member

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      It could also be the fuel inertia switch, located in the passenger side kick panel inside the cab. There is a reset button on top of it. I had kine go out with no warning and my symptoms were exactly the same as yours.
       
    9. beepinX

      beepinX Active Member

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      Great resource, thanks! We will be working on a 2001 Explorer right after we finished the new suspension, racks, and some other jeep aftermarket parts and light accessories on the current Wrangler project. The Explorer's fuel pump been acting up and probably needs a replacement.
       
    10. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      koda, thanks for posting the link to the fuel pump on ebay in the similar thread in the 2nd Gen Explorer forum! Finally got warm enough to work on it today. All I did today was spray penetrant towards the threads on the bolts. None of the local parts stores have a fuel pump, so I needed to order one. I did a search for tips on dropping the tank (forgot you told me above) and changing the filter & saw your link to the pump on ebay & ordered one for less than half of what Advance wants for the same pump. I hope to change the filter and drop the tank tomorrow & have everything ready to swap pumps & put it back together next weekend.
       
    11. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      Glad to have helped. If you have any questions during the pump install just ask. I consider myself a bit of an expert on this repair.

      BTW - My late production '01 ST had one of the weird 3 port fuel filters. I found this a difficult part to source in-stock locally. Ford dealer didn't even have one. O'Reilly's was the only auto parts store that had one in stock. I still can't understand the reason/purpose for the 3rd port, but everything else associated with the fuel pump replacement was the same as on my '01 Explorer EB 5.0L except for the fuel filter.

      Tips - The evap hose connection to the tank is tricky. It's gray plastic and must be squeezed to get it to release. If you end up breaking the gray plastic piece during attempting to remove it it's okay. It will stay in place w/out all of the retaining ring.

      The wiring harness to the tank is clipped to the inside of the left frame rail, just over the axle. Punch the clips through the holes in the frame to get more wiggle room. Push the clips back through the holes when done.

      The tank strap keys into the left frame rail. It can be removed (push the tank to the right) to make lowering it easier. Bend it if necessary, just bend it back during reassembly.

      If your fill and vent hose clamps are rusted, carefully cut them off with a Dremel tool using a thin cutting disk and replace with new hose clamps.

      Where gloves and eye protection when dealing with the fill and vent hoses. Nothing will get you dirtier than old oxidized rubber.

      Have fun!
       
    12. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      This truck has the normal 2 ports, 1 in & 1 out. Just curious - does your ST have a steel or plastic tank? Everything I remember reading says the tanks are plastic, but this one is steel. My '02 has a plastic tank.
       
    13. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      Steel.
       
    14. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      Where's the Schraeder valve on a Job 2 SOHC? I'm not seeing it. My truck hasn't run in a month, so there's probably little pressure in the line, but I really don't want a gasoline shower!

      The two bolts at the front of the tank are 13mm. Got those backed out easily, but only because I sprayed them a couple of times with Pyroil penetrating fluid and let them soak. That stuff works well. Haven't tried the bolt on the strap yet. I need to get the truck raised up a little. Not going to finish his job until next Saturday anyway because I have to wait for the pump and I won't home from work until dark. Also have to go back and get a tool for the filter. I almost bought one yesterday, but thought the one I have was the right size. It isn't. 3/8 is as small as it goes.
       
    15. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      IDK I would assume somewhere on the passenger side fuel rail. I'll look at mine in a few mins.

      There wont be any pressure left in the fuel line (I assume you're talking about replacing the fuel filter), but there's usually enough fuel in the filter and line that it's going to probably at least run up for arm. Where eye protection. When I changed my ST's filter (even though the truck hadn't run in probably at least a year) The fuel ran right into my ear. Hurt like hell for about 10 mins. Almost thought I'd have to make a trip to the ER. Avoid doing that.

      I'm pretty sure my 2 front tank bolts were 17 MM or 18 MM, but I could be wrong. 13 MM sounds way small, unless it just a small head... ? IIRC my tank strap bolt was 13 MM. I put anti-seize on my tank bolts during reassembly for next time, but mine had no rust and came out easily.

      My fuel filters (all of them) come off the easiest using a 5/16 line tool. The one time I disconnected the line at the fuel pump assembly (which was a total PITA and unnecessary) the only size that worked for me was a 3/8 tool.

      Edit:
      Looked for a Schraeder valve on my Job 2 and don't see one. It may be there somewhere, but there's a lot of stuff covering up the fuel rails.
       
      Last edited: January 20, 2018
    16. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      I got the filter changed with not too much trouble. There was zero fuel pressure. I got one drop of gas on my chin, but ended up lying in gas that spilled out a little later. I was wearing clothes I only wear when I'm working on cars or in the yard, so no problem there. It would be nice if all the gas came out at once instead of a little now, and a little later!
      I started with the front side, but it wouldn't come apart. I got the tool all the way in and could smell gas, but it just wouldn't come apart. I moved to the rear side, and it came apart reasonably well. I used pliers to hold the fuel line and the metal tool that has 5/16 on one end and 3/8 on the other. I went back to the front side and worked at it awhile trying to remember all the advice I've read on the forum. Finally, with the tool all the way in, I pushed the line and filter together hard, and it finally let go.

      For those reading this before the first time you change a filter, I'll add a tip to what others have offered. To remove the safety clips on each end of the filter, pry the end of the clip farthest from the filter up, then slide the clip toward the filter. Then you can pry the other end up and release the clip. There are prongs on the clip that slide into the fitting, so you can't pry that end of the clip up first.

      As I've thought about, and dreaded doing this job, I've been remembering how I thought the truck wasn't accelerating on the interstate like I thought it should the last couple of weeks before the pump quit (on the first really cold day we've had). My '02 with 3.73 gears (and half the miles) would run away from this '01 with it's 4.10 gears in a race. I'd already thought the filter may be part of the problem. I'm anxious to see if a new filter and fuel pump will even the trucks' performance a bit.
       
    17. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      My trick to get the the line tool pushed into the engine side of the filter is to leave the filter in it's mounting clip, spray a little WD40 into the ends of the fuel lines, spin the filter a few times, insert the tool once I get the filter to easily push onto the line a tiny bit, then back the tool with a pair of pliers using a bit of leverage to push the tool all the way into the line's clip to get it to release. I've found this works pretty well to get the filter loose, but it's always a little bit of a battle.

      Did you try blowing through your old filter from the tank side with your mouth? I always to this to judge how clogged the filter was. When I did this to the old filter on my ST, I could not blow through it at all. When you do this blowing from the engine side, watch out for what may come out the other end, it typically looks like rusty mud. It's strange, I've never found the least bit of rust or dirt in any of my tanks, but the filters always have muck inside them. A severely clogged filter can help to kill a fuel pump. Ford recommends the fuel filter be changed every 30,000 miles. I'm curious to see if you notice any improvement in power and acceleration after the pump/filter change, but the diff gear ratio (4:10 vs 3:73) makes a big difference. My ST with 4:10's might accelerate even better than my V8 EB which has 3:73's. I found my Job 2 ST to be impressively quick. I think the Job 2 intake design also adds quite a bit of power to the SOHC.
       
      Last edited: January 21, 2018
    18. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I hope that fuel pump solves it for you.

      I had my SOHC throwing a lean code about once every 2-3 months, but the fuel pressure always tested 60-62 psi. Then one day the truck didn't pull well at speed, and the CEL light came on. Testing the pressure right after getting home, it was about 55psi(always tested it off).

      Mine ended up being the rubber hose at the pump, I discovered it barely split when I changed the pump and hoses. Check those hoses carefully, don't reuse them if you don't have to. I wonder where they've hidden the schrader valve on those, my 99 was of course visible up front on top.
       
    19. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      First, I have no intention of getting my mouth anywhere near gasoline! I did catch some gas in a white plastic bucket, and it was the color of muddy water or really strong coffee. No rusty tint though. I tried most everything to get the front side loose. I could spin the filter easily, and had the tool as far in as it could go and tried prying it even more. Like I said, I could smell gas right away, but it just wouldn't let go.

      I've been impressed with the way my '02 with the 3.73s accelerates, but the '01 with 4.10s has always disappointed me. Both engines run fine, and the '01 has newer plugs and wires. The '02 probably still has the originals, but it only has 90,000 miles now. The '01 has a bit over twice that.

      It seems I've read the valve is along the back of the engine by the firewall, but I can't see it, and couldn't/wouldn't get to it if it is. Doesn't seem like a good place to put it, but like I've told my wife, I'm too smart and have too much common sense to be an automotive engineer, so what do I know.
       
    20. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      "First, I have no intention of getting my mouth anywhere near gasoline!"

      You've probably never siphoned gasoline as a kid. I've had quite a few mouthfuls of gasoline over the years. Now I use a clear hose so I know when to stop sucking on it. LOL. Besides, I was talking about blowing on the filter, not sucking on it. No chance of getting gasoline in your mouth if you're blowing on it.

      I thought you were saying the ST with the 4:10's was peppier. Now it sounds like you saying the one with the 3:73's is peppier. My ST has about 200k on it now and still runs like a scalded dog.
       
    21. 01STrunner

      01STrunner Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I've been experiencing some fuel issues with my 01 (160k miles) recently. At first I thought it was pump related, but I think it may be a cracked line in the tank because it runs perfectly most days and only seems to not start unless it's under 1/4 of a tank. Still testing that theory, and it's been too cold to drop the tank.

      As for the Schraeder valve, it's located at the very back of the passenger fuel rail right at the firewall. Not the most fun to try to get a fuel pressure gauge onto.
       
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    22. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      With 160K, if you're going to drop the tank to check hoses, replace the pump too. In my experience they crap out between 175-200K. Some go sooner, some last longer, but with the amount of effort required to drop the tank, I'd put a new pump on it too. The Bosch 69128 pump kit comes with enough submersible hose to do both pieces, FI clamps, the pump, a jumper wire and a new pump insulator for under $45 w/free shipping on eBay. The only other things you need is a new fuel filter and strainer sock.

      NEW Bosch Electric Fuel Pump 69128 Ford F-150 E-150 Contour Explorer 1988-2004 | eBay

      [​IMG]
       
    23. 01STrunner

      01STrunner Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Thanks Koda! Sound advice for sure especially since I added a skid plate to guard the tank as well adding another obstacle. Where'd you get a new strainer sock? Just a generic one from the parts store?
       
    24. 429CJ-3X2

      429CJ-3X2 Elite Explorer

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      I ordered a strainer kit on Amazon this evening. The kit has a variety of strainer socks in it. It's like $12.00
       
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    25. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      I've installed 6 of the Bosch fuel pumps and they've all worked perfectly. I wouldn't buy any other brand. The strainer sock isn't that expensive, so you could buy it at any auto parts store. I usually order it off eBay at the same time I'm buying the pump. An Airtex FS199 works well and is the same size/shape as the OE strainer. I also buy Motorcraft filters off eBay. You can save a few bucks on the strainer and filter if you buy it on-line w/free shipping. Just search for the lowest price + shipping. Visually check your fuel filter. Most have one port in and one out. Mine had one of the 3 port filters, which are more expensive and harder to find. The only place that had it in stock was O'Reilly's (at around $18).

      Example Airtex strainer (under $7.00):
      [​IMG]
      Example 3-port fuel filter (around $20):
      [​IMG]

      Example 2-port fuel filter (Motorcraft around $12)
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: January 22, 2018
    26. 01STrunner

      01STrunner Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Thanks again! I've got the 3 port filter and just replaced it last week thinking it might have been causing my issue. That was my 2nd time replacing the fuel filter on this truck and it makes me wonder what the heck they were thinking using that style of clips. It's never as simple as setting them with the tool and popping the line off.
       

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